How to Windsurf

How to Windsurf
Windsurfing---also known as sailboarding, wave sailing and board sailing--is not a strength sport. When learned properly, it can be done by children and adults alike. Anyone attempting to wind surf should be a strong swimmer and weigh more than 60 lbs. It's also important to be properly outfitted to avoid hypothermia. Windsurfing gear, such as wetsuits and polarized sunglasses, can be found at Trails.com.

Instructions

Difficulty: Moderate

Things You’ll Need:
  • Small wind sail (beginners) Big board Sunscreen Personal flotation device Wetsuit Sunglasses with straps
  • Small wind sail (beginners)
  • Big board
  • Sunscreen
  • Personal flotation device
  • Wetsuit
  • Sunglasses with straps
Step 1
Push the sail and board into deep water, making sure there is plenty of clearance for the fin. Position yourself on the board. Face the sail by putting your knees on either side of the mast base. Grab the uphaul (device that lifts sail out of water) in one hand and stand up, keeping one foot on either side of the mast.
Step 2
Haul the rig up with your back facing the wind, allowing the board to rotate at a 90-degree angle toward the direction of the wind. With knees bent, use your legs to uphaul the sail and lift the mast almost to an upright position, being careful not to overbalance by pulling it too close to your body.
Step 3
First move one hand, then the other to the mast, holding it in a position you find comfortable. Be sure the board is pointing across the wind while your back remains against the wind. This is a neutral position.
Step 4
Slide the foot that is closest to the back of the board backward about 10 inches (about a step) and slide the foot that is closest to the front of the board so your toes are pointing forward while your arch remains beside the mast base. This should position your body behind the mast while your sail remains in a neutral position.
Step 5
Pull the mast upright over the base while your board remains pointed across the direction of the wind. Position the hand closest to the back of the board about 1/3 of the way down the boom and move your front hand from the mast to the boom (keeping it near the mast).

Position your hips toward the sail, drawing your back hand in the direction of your body (about 6 inches). Do not move the mast position or the front hand when you do this. The wind should now take the sail and the board will begin to glide. Tilting the mast to the left will turn the board clockwise and tilting it to the right will move it in a counter-clockwise position. The stronger the wind and the more you tilt the mast the more quickly the board will react.
Step 6
The easiest way to stop is to release the boom--with your back hand only--and allow the sail to move back into the neutral position. You will still be drifting, but no longer moving along swiftly. Releasing the sail so it drops into the water will slow you down more quickly.

Tips & Warnings

 
Those just learning windsurfing should sail during a gentle breeze. You should be a strong swimmer and also wear a flotation vest. Always wear sunscreen and sunglasses with tie-on straps. Do not use suntan oil; it will make things too slippery to sail.
 
Those just learning windsurfing should sail during a gentle breeze.
 
You should be a strong swimmer and also wear a flotation vest.
 
Always wear sunscreen and sunglasses with tie-on straps. Do not use suntan oil; it will make things too slippery to sail.
 
Avoid hypothermia by not becoming overly fatigued and wearing weather- appropriate clothing when sailing.

Resources

Article Written By Abaigeal Quinn

Abaigeal Quinn works as an international entertainment broker in the United States. She is a former news editor and insurance agent who began writing for a daily newspaper in 1995.

Don't Miss a Thing!

All our latest outdoor content delivered to your inbox once a week.

FREE UPDATES

Subscribe

We promise to keep your email address safe and secure.